By Emily Pearce
For Inland 360
Each June, people crowd the streets and businesses of Moscow for art and food during Moscow’s annual Artwalk. The event is an experience locals look forward to and outsiders come to see.
Artwalk may still come to the Palouse, but not at its usual time; it’s been rescheduled for Sept. 25.
“Artwalk is part of a constellation of arts and culture offerings in Moscow, and it’s a tradition going strong into its 16th year,” said Megan Cherry, city of Moscow arts program manager.
“The event is one of Moscow’s favorite annual arts and culture events, which is why we chose to postpone artwalk rather than canceling the event.”
Cherry and other organizers will continue to monitor novel coronavirus conditions throughout the summer and will adjust plans as needed.
“Public health and safety is our number one priority, but we’d love to host a community celebration of the arts if conditions allow,” Cherry said.
One of the biggest difficulties in planning this event is uncertainty, she said. “We’re watching conditions carefully to be sure that we can safely offer the programs that Moscow loves. Planning with the COVID-19 restrictions in mind presents challenges that we’ll work through.”
Organizers are still planning for receptions, musical performances and a variety of activities. They hope to feature the same musical line-up set for June and are reconfirming artist bookings, Cherry said. They are asking host locations, food vendors and art demonstrators to register before the July 31 deadline.
“We’re hoping to present an artwalk that looks familiar to the community,” Cherry said.
The annual celebration is important to the community but also to area businesses.
“Moscow Artwalk has a multifaceted economic impact on the community as a whole,” Cherry said. “When collectors purchase works from artists at events like this one, creative business people are encouraged to develop their artistic practice in Moscow.
“For business owners, artwalk introduces viewers not only to the artwork but also to the shops, agencies and restaurants that participate as exhibition spaces. This acquaints the public with local resources, strengthening Moscow’s economy over the long term.”
Communities like Moscow that are rich in arts and culture programming tend to see aesthetic rewards and economic returns, she added.
“Artwalk is an opportunity to connect with the region’s visual artists. These creative entrepreneurs imbue our community with incredible richness and beauty, and it’s great to see their work and talk with them in person,” she said.
It also offers a chance to listen to music on Main Street, watch art-making in action and other demonstrations.
“Anyone who loves performance art will find that, and anyone looking for great regional cuisine is in luck,” Cherry said. “It’s all there, at artwalk.”